Iran reports 127 more virus deaths; death toll now 1,812

Iran is battling the worst coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East. (AP)
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Updated 23 March 2020

Iran reports 127 more virus deaths; death toll now 1,812

  • Iran is battling the worst outbreak in the Middle East

TEHRAN: Iran has reported another 127 coronavirus deaths, bringing its death toll to 1,812 amid 23,049 confirmed cases.
Iran is battling the worst outbreak in the Middle East, and has faced widespread criticism for not imposing stricter quarantine measures early on.
It is also suffering under severe American sanctions imposed after President Donald Trump withdrew the US from Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
State TV reported the latest figures on Monday.


Explosion hits Hezbollah building in southern Lebanon

Updated 32 min 45 sec ago

Explosion hits Hezbollah building in southern Lebanon

  • A powerful explosion shook a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Lebanon

CAIRO: A huge explosion hit a Hezbollah arms store in southern Lebanon on Tuesday, injuring several people.
The blast took place in the village of Ain Qana and comes after a massive explosion last month devastated large areas of the capital Beirut.  Lebanon's official news agency, NNA, said the explosion coincided with intense Israeli overflights “that did not leave the skies” over the area since Tuesday morning.
A security source told Reuters that the explosion was caused by a “technical error.”
Videos showed large plumes of smoke rising into the air over the village, which is within a Hezbollah stronghold.
The Iran-backed militant group has large stores of weapons and missiles across southern Lebanon. Hezbollah considered by several countries in the west to be a terrorist organization, has fought several wars with Israel.
Members of the group imposed a security cordon around the area.
The mysterious explosion comes seven weeks after the massive explosion at Beirut port, caused by the detonation of nearly 3,000 tons of improperly stored ammonium nitrate. The explosion killed nearly 200 people, injured 6,500 and damaged tens of thousands of buildings in the capital, Beirut.
It is still not clear what caused the initial fire that ignited the chemicals, and so far no one has been held accountable.

(with Reuters and AP)